For KING & COUNTRY‘s holiday album, A Drummer Boy Christmas, and their holiday tours are very popular. But the duo’s Luke and Joel Smallbone say the irony is that as kids growing up in Australia, many beloved Christmas songs just never made sense to them — especially the ones that mention winter or snow.
December is summertime in Australia, which makes certain songs “really bizarre,” Joel notes: “You know, ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,’ if there’s an open fire in Australia in the summer, it’s a bushfire. You’ve got to run. Don’t write a song about it.”
“Or ‘Frosty the Snowman’ … we have Frankie the Sandman,” he laughs. “Or ‘I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,’ of course you’re dreaming.” So when their family moved to Tennessee when they were young, Joel says, “We exploded when we actually experienced a Northern Hemisphere Christmas.”
“Every Australian loves snow,” Luke adds. “And even for the last few decades, while we’ve been here, if we bring family over, if it doesn’t snow here, we will take them to snow, because that’s how special it is.”
“The first Christmas that we were here, it did indeed snow,” Luke recalls. “And it’s one of only maybe two or three ever since we’ve lived in Tennessee … and so it was a magical moment.” Of course, all eight members of the family ran out and built snowmen — with disastrous results.
“The neighbors bought an F150 and they mowed over the snowman,” Luke reveals. “So it was a cultural experience all the way around. We’re building these new memories, these snowmen, and then we realized that maybe the neighbors don’t like snowmen all at the same time.”
“… And America’s a dangerous place!” adds Joel. “It’s a very dangerous place!” laughs Luke.
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